The invitations plopped through a large number of letterboxes telling people that we would love to see them back in Church to meet old friends, worship with us at our Harvest Festival and to discover the progress we have made since their last visit. As a result we had a full Church on the Sunday morning of 30th September and there was great rejoicing all round! It was good to see all the push-chairs at the front of the church and the Sunday Starters were delighted to welcome so many extra children for the second half of the service.
Various groups who meet at the church decorated a window each, on the theme of farming, making the church not only colourful but interesting by their different displays. There were lots of sheep and poppies, but the Girls’ Brigade window with colourful caterpillars that became butterflies according to the angle from which you were viewing them drew much attention, as did the Zambia link window with the help of many photos, two miniature beehives and 'hundreds' of bees all over it!
The very happy service began with people bringing gifts of dried goods (to be sent to ‘Feed The Children’) and tinned goods (to be sent to CIRDIC, the Churches in Reading Drop-In Centre), followed by the presentation of a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Service Award to Tara Keating and a certificate to me for completing the 33-week Disciple 3 course. (Two others completed this course but one was ill and the other was preaching at the Kentwood church.)
The Minister, Dermot Thornberry gave an ingenious children's address, illustrating what we would miss if the potato had no EYES, the corn had no EARS, the bananas had no HANDS and the cabbage had no HEART and pointing out that God needs our eyes, ears, hands and heart to praise Him and appreciate His wonderful creation.
Deacon Becky Bawden and the Minister Dermot entertained with an amusing sketch in which a dahlia (Becky) and a dandelion (Dermot) debated their own importance in God’s colourful creation. There was a choral item by a small group and Dermot spoke on various moods of harvest before the lively hymn ‘You shall go forth with joy’. We certainly did, and the happy fellowship continued with tea and coffee in the hall afterwards, with many joyous reunions. It was especially good to have former Sunday School pupils bringing their own children now to enjoy Sunday Starters and the Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades.